Tuesday, November 12, 2013

THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN NEXT YEAR!

With the threat of a freeze tonight we had to get busy yesterday. First the houseplants. Three large plants have spent the summer outside by the front gate where they receive a little shade from the overhead structure. One of these is now a 6' Euphorbia. This plant has been severely mistreated in the past and I put it out thinking it would likely be its last year. Not so. In fact it loved being out there and quickly fattened up and put out new leaves.


It sits in  10 square inch pot and what scrappy soil and rock was in there is now only 8" And yet it is as green and healthy as can be. A testament to the resilience of such plants. All is forgiven it seems and now I want to keep the plant. How to move it.


Let it be known that this is a plant which has to be protected from itsef. Like many euphorbias it will bleed when damaged and those sharp spines on the outer edges of the stem can do more damage to the plant than to me. To prevent such damage I usually pad between the stems to prevent this.
I wish someone could have taken a video of the procedure. It took the two of us and a dolly to move it. The plant is so lanky with an obvious poor root structure that any movement caused the stems to bend. It had to go down two steps, up two steps, down two steps and up two steps to get it to its final resting place for the winter.


It will bear the scars of this move for the rest of its life.


Finally it is inside for the winter and next spring I will be cutting off the tops and replanting to make a new plant. This time I will be more generous with both pot and soil.
Unfortunately the anole who was sheltering in this plant was evicted more than once. From the Euphorbia, to the rubber plant to the fig. I hope he managed to find a new place to hide during tonight's freeze.

20 comments:

  1. Now that was a smart way to move it. I would have never though of the towels. I bet it was David's idea.

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  2. Wow, such a miracle that it didn't topple over and break. I planted 2 small 7 inch E. Trigona Rubra in my backyard. The tag said they were hardy to 25 degrees. Gosh, hope so. They've already grown 2 inches in 2 months. I don't plan on moving them, so hope they live!

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    Replies
    1. One did fall over and there was a lot of near mishaps.

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    2. I never trust a tag that says 25!

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  3. I am sure it feels lucky to have been saved. It's a beauty!

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    1. Doesn't know what is in store for it next spring. May need a transfusion.

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  4. That is a happy euphorbia and you showed great fortitude in moving it. Well done! When I retired this year I left behind a 4' tall specimen which had grown happily in my sunny cubicle for several years. The logistics of moving it were too much for me so I "gifted" it to the next occupant. Reports are it is alive and well.

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    Replies
    1. You were right to leave it. It was a job not to be repeated.

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  5. Nice..
    I didn't know that this one needed sheltered from the freeze.
    Sorry for asking - but isn't this one freeze hardy?

    Anyway kodus on the good job moving it - I would had made a greater damage.

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    1. We are in quite a frost bucket here do I don 't take chances.

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  6. That Euphorbia is a beauty - no wonder you changed your mind. Yesterday we were doing the plant-move two step as well - variously using a dolly and a wheelbarrow finishing up with the pruning shears. It is good to have that job over for the year!

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  7. Imagine what would have happened if you *had* given it a bigger pot. Wow! I like the dish towel idea, but you might need to pick up a couple dozen more for the more back outdoors in the spring. :)

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  8. Not moving without a major hair cut. The time has come!

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  9. How funny, I had a similar Euphorbia that I also thought was its last year, and it managed to prove me wrong and come back to life. About the same size as yours, too, and with a horrible root structure that is a real pain to move. I haven't decided what to do with mine, its sitting in a garage right now. I have a very mobile 1 year old who will get into the soil over and over right now, so no where is safe.

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  10. Wow! That looks like the cuttings my neighbor gave me last summer. They rooted very well, and now have grown enough to need a haircut in the spring. Hers is not nearly that big, so I'm surprised to see the size of yours. I will have to rethink my pot size.

    This plant moving stuff does get a bit out of hand, after a while. :/

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  11. What a chore! I'm glad you made it through unscathed (even if the plant shed a sap tear).

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  12. I had read that Euphorbia "African Milk tree" has poisonous sap. Even read a horrible blog entry online about some guy going blind for 2 days when he got some in his eyes. I planted my 2 little ones outside and have surrounded them with spiky Opuntia. They are the planned high point to low-lying cactus and small boulders. I have dogs that I am trying to protect from the Euphorbia. They occasionally get cactus needles in their fur and know to avoid it, but one of my little ones is prone to chewing on sticks and plants and I worry about her. If they die from some freak Texas freeze,..oh well, they only cost me 5.99 each. One more mistake to learn from..

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  13. Oh my, I can relate to the trauma of moving delicate plants up and down steps with a dolly and a husband. But such a pretty plant, it was well worth it.

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